Alexa is a dependable and feature-rich smart home assistant from Amazon. Alexa can answer your questions, provide hands-free voice control, set alarms, and connect with other smart devices that are compatible.
Alexa is included into all of Amazon’s Echo speakers, including the fourth-generation Echo and Echo Dot. Outside of the Echo brand, Amazon has teamed with dozens of other companies to deliver Alexa to speakers such as Sonos, Yamaha, Ultimate Ears, and others.
These third-party devices provide the same key digital assistant features and skills as an Alexa device while providing buyers with more sound performance and design alternatives. For clients who want a smart speaker in their home theater, there are portable Alexa speakers for outdoor use, as well as soundbars with Alexa.
Though Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot are still the best-selling Alexa speakers due to their ease and dependability, third-party Alexa speakers may be a better fit for some functions.
Overall, the greatest Alexa speaker
Alexa, a redesigned look, enhanced acoustics, and Zigbee connection are all included in the latest Amazon Echo.
Pros: Low cost, built-in Zigbee hub, 3.5mm port, and stylish design
Cons: Audio quality is inferior to that of more expensive speakers.
Amazon’s fourth-generation Echo is the company’s best Alexa speaker to date. It strikes the ideal balance between audio quality, pricing, and smart-home capabilities for the majority of buyers.
Instead of being shaped like a cylinder, the new Echo is shaped like a spherical. This gives the speaker a one-of-a-kind appearance, resembling a glowing ball.
The installation of a second tweeter and a new front-firing location have also increased audio quality over previous models. However, sound quality is still inferior to that of a Sonos speaker.
For quick access to Amazon’s dependable digital assistant, full Alexa capabilities have been implemented. When Alexa is listening, a blue light illuminates on the bottom. Amazon also used its new AZ1 neural edge processor, which is the first of its kind, to improve responsiveness.
For those concerned about privacy, a microphone mute option is offered. On the flipside, Amazon still uses your voice recordings to improve Alexa’s functioning by default, but you can turn this off in the Alexa app.
The Echo’s Zigbee hub connectivity should appeal to those who want seamless compatibility with other smart devices. Zigbee is a smart-home protocol that allows devices to communicate with one another. To control other items, such as light bulbs, a third-generation Echo would need to communicate with a separate smart-home hub. The most recent Echo can establish a direct connection.
The greatest Alexa speaker for high-end users
The Sonos One is ideal for hardcore audiophiles, with Alexa and Google Assistant support, as well as Apple AirPlay 2.
Pros: Excellent sound quality, attractive design, Google Assistant support in addition to Alexa, and AirPlay 2 compatibility
Cons: It’s a bit pricey, and it doesn’t enable Bluetooth streaming.
One of the best smart speakers available today is the Sonos One. To be sure, the device works with Alexa, but it also has Google Assistant support and is compatible with Apple’s AirPlay 2 for iOS users. To put it another way, while you might buy the speaker for Alexa support, you’ll also receive a slew of other smart capabilities.
On the Sonos One, you can ask Alexa questions, have her play music, make reminders, buy products on Amazon, track shipments, control compatible smart home devices, and more. In addition, you can use third-party services such as Spotify.
Aside from its smart features, the Sonos One’s superior sound quality sets it apart from Amazon’s own line of Echo speakers. It has a lot of volume without distorting, and it has good bass response for a small speaker. In the high end, there’s a lot of clarity, which helps things like cymbals sparkle and singers pierce through a mix.
If you can afford two, stereo pairing will give you an even more balanced and beautiful sound.
On the flipside, unlike the Echo, it doesn’t have Bluetooth or an auxiliary connector, making it a closed system that forces you into the Sonos ecosystem. The speaker is also pricier than some of the others on this list, but it justifies its greater price by providing superior music quality than the less expensive ones.
The best Alexa speaker for travel
The UE Blast is a fantastic sounding speaker with a lovely design, and it’s one of the few portable speakers that supports Alexa.
Pros: Long battery life, good sound quality for the size, reasonably sturdy, and waterproof
Cons: Alexa requires Wi-Fi to function properly.
The UE Blast speaker is an excellent choice if you want an Alexa-enabled speaker that you can take with you. In addition to Alexa functionality, the speaker comes with a built-in battery for portability and a waterproof construction.
Alexa requires an internet connection, so you’ll need to be within range of one to use the speaker’s digital assistant. However, as long as you’re connected, you’ll have access to all of Alexa’s main capabilities, such as hands-free control and most digital assistant functions.
The speaker is also well-built for portability, with a battery life of 12 hours. It also has an IP67 water-resistance rating. That means you can take it to the beach without worrying about it becoming too wet.
Furthermore, the speaker sounds excellent for its size, with good bass response and a crisp, cutting sound that delivers 360-degree music no matter where you are. Low frequencies, on the other hand, aren’t as deep as they would be on a larger speaker. Bluetooth is also built in, allowing you to stream music from a mobile device with ease.
Alexa’s best soundbar
The Yamaha YAS-209 boasts built-in Alexa support for hands-free control and delivers outstanding sound for movies and TV.
Pros: Room-filling sound, a wireless subwoofer, a variety of connection choices, and a sleek design
Cons: There is no onboard display, and Dolby Vision passthrough is not supported.
For a modest price, the YAS-209 soundbar combines home theater audio quality with Alexa functionality. This space-saving audio alternative replaces most built-in TV speakers and can also function as a digital assistant.
The system contains a wireless subwoofer for dedicated bass and a 2.1-channel soundbar that delivers outstanding stereo playback. For a simulated surround sound impression, DTS Virtual:X technology is also featured.
For simple audio streaming, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless access are also featured. The HDMI ARC or optical audio ports on the bar can handle wired connections to a TV. A media device, such as a Blu-ray player or game console, can be connected via an additional HDMI connector.
Because of the built-in microphones, the YAS-209 also supports Amazon Alexa, allowing for digital assistant capabilities and hands-free management of operations like volume.
Though we believe the YAS-209 is the best soundbar with Alexa, consumers looking for a soundbar with numerous digital assistants and a more compact design might try the Sonos Beam. Its home theater performance isn’t as good as the Yamaha’s, but it does support Alexa and Google Assistant, so you may use whatever platform you choose.
The most affordable budget Alexa-enabled speaker
The Echo Dot is the perfect speaker for those looking for a small and inexpensive Alexa device.
Pros: It’s small, smart, and inexpensive.
Cons: The audio quality isn’t as fantastic as it is with the regular Echo.
The Echo Dot is the most affordable Alexa speaker available. You get a tiny, orb-shaped device that can answer questions, play music, set alarms, control other smart devices, and more for around half the price of the normal Echo.
The finest feature of the Echo Dot is undoubtedly its compact size. It may be placed almost anyplace, and because it uses the same microphone array as its larger siblings, it will be able to hear your commands. This is the best way to dip your toe into the smart-home ocean, whether you’re aiming for subtlety or the best way to dip your toe into the smart-home ocean.
The new Dot has a spherical design and significantly better sound quality than the previous third-generation device, but overall performance is similar. Because the difference between the two models is now only about $10, we recommend the latest model. The third-generation Echo Dot, on the other hand, is still an excellent choice if you prefer the puck-shaped design and want to save some money.